This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Azaad Sandhu. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Why Has The Pakistan Government Suddenly Put Hafiz Saeed Under House Arrest?

With our experience as Indians, any positive move by Pakistan is best viewed with suspicion. The peace talks between Nawaz Sharif and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in early 1999, are a case in point. Little did we know, and if reports are to be believed, little did Nawaz know, that the Pakistan army had already begun occupying Indian posts across the Line of Control (LoC) and started the Kargil War. Pakistan’s latest move to be put under the scanner is the placing of Hafiz Saeed – the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks – under house arrest, following which, he was listed under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The Defence Minister of Pakistan, Khawaja Asif, stated in Munich that Hafiz Saeed is a ‘serious threat‘ to Pakistan. However, he was pounded for being pro-India by his fellow politicians. The Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor stated that this was a policy decision and no outside influence contributed to it.

However, the world need not ponder long to understand why Pakistan has finally taken action against a man who has had a $10 million bounty on his head by the US government since 2012, coupled with being the leader of the banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawah.

It would be wrong to look at it as a goodwill gesture towards India. It is more likely to be a decision taken in order to please the new Trump administration. Trump’s anti-Islamic stance could very well spell disaster for Pakistan. Sponsoring terrorism is an allegation that has hovered over the head of Pakistan ever since 1989.

The US Defence Secretary James Mattis’ comments on Iran being the ‘biggest state sponsor of terrorism’ has, once again, offered a temporary reprieve to the Pakistani government. The fact that action hasn’t been taken against Masood Azhar also raises serious questions about the credibility of this move by Pakistan. He’s been on a terror watch list longer than Hafiz Saeed and the Pakistani government has for long been under pressure by the US and Indian government to take action against him.

Ever since Azhar’s release from jail in India in exchange for passengers of IC-814 in 1999, his banned terror outfit, Jaish-e-Muhammad, has been responsible for multiple terror attacks in India, including the Parliament attacks in 2001, which left both countries on the brink of war. Also, China’s (Pakistan’s ‘all weather friend) unwavering support in the UN has allowed Pakistan to remain relatively free from substantial outside pressure.

The latest rebranding of Saeed’s organisation has been done under the banner of Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir. A champion of Kashmir’s ‘freedom’ struggle, Saeed has underlined his intention to never let up on his anti-India stance. This is another questionable move by the Pakistani government, since they regularly seem to allow the rebranding of banned terror organisations. It raises further doubts on their motive behind Saeed’s detention.

The anti-India and pro-Kashmir rhetoric has been Pakistan’s rallying cry ever since its inception in 1947. We wept with Pakistan when terrorists murdered innocent children at Army Public School, Peshawar in December 2014.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched to crack the whip on terror in June 2014. However, this ‘crackdown’ has proven to be superficial. As long as they continue to differentiate between ‘good’ terrorists and ‘bad’ terrorists, their own country, and the rest of the world, is at risk. This is displayed by the fact that Operation Zarb-e-Azb has focussed on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and certain other splinter organisations while completely ignoring those such as the LeT, JeM and the Haqqani Network. After a spate of suicide attacks earlier this month, Pakistan has launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad – their first nationwide anti-terror operation. It will be interesting to see whether any action is taken against Tehreek Azadi Jammu and Kashmir. It is too early to comment on its effectiveness.

Pakistan’s proxy war against India using the LeT and JeM and its support for the Taliban and Haqqani Network in Afghanistan are causing them problems in SAARC as well. This was evident when India boycotted the SAARC meeting in Islamabad last year, in the wake of the Uri terror attack, and five other countries followed suit.

The US support for Pakistan, in terms of aid, has always been conditional. It is based on their willingness to fight the war against terror. When required, Pakistan has been called out for not living up to its word. It is possible that their analysis of the current world situation has led them to the conclusion that they need to change tactics or at least display a change.

However, to really prove to the world that they are willing to drop terror as an instrument of state policy, Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad must truly be ‘nationwide’ and not selective. Masood Azhar must be made priority number one. As Indians, we cannot completely trust the government of Pakistan until the Kashmir issue is resolved. Perhaps, this is their chance to impress the world, and especially Donald Trump.

Image source: YouTube
You must be to comment.

More from Azaad Sandhu

Similar Posts

By Ishmeet Kaur Mac

By Oroosa Kar

By Rahul Thapa

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below